Archive for November, 2004

All Sorts of Stuff

Sunday, November 7th, 2004

Since the end of the regular season, i’ve been in a strange sort of funk in terms of writing. I’ve been so frustrated with the team that I have not wanted to even hear any news about them, let alone write the news/commentary myself. Now, as we begin to move toward the official beginning of the Free Agent frenzy, I am beginning to emerge from my self induced Cubs coma. I am going to make every attempt to be optimistic about this team and the moves that Jim Hendry has in store. In the next day or so, I will try to comment on who I would like to see in a Cubs uniform in 2005. Until then, I am going to take the time to share my opinion on some rumors and happenings in the last week or so.

Sammy Sosa
Is there anyway to make this guy just go away? I admit, when Sammy was battling Mark McGwire for the HR title, I was a stupid fan that only looked at his HR numbers. I thought to myself, “Hey, this guy could be the greatest player in the game today.” I know it sounds funny to hear that now that we have seen such an incredible turnaround from a player that used to be a media darling, but has not turned into a card carrying member of the Sex Pistols. Everyone must tip toe around the great Sammy for fear that at any minute he might blast his music and erupt like a volcano. Perhaps the fame was just too much for him. Perhaps it has simply gone to his head. Maybe he feels as if he is indeed better than he really is. Maybe the problem is that Sammy follows that hallowed rule passed down from player to player for ages way too literally. The rule of not listening to the media, EVER. The fact of the matter is, this guy needs to wake up, spend some time reading The Cubs Blog Army and realize that maybe his luster and attraction has worn out.

All around I have been reading trade rumors for Sammy. I have a hard time deciding if any trade will actually happen. I mean after all, we’re talking about a drastically overpriced cancer. I don’t know too many people that will pay 16-18 million dollars to acquire cancer. Yet on the other hand, I think about the fact that we have the great magician Jim Hendrini as our GM. The man has magical powers that enable him to convince teams that his garbage is their treasure. I have complete faith in Jim Hendrini’s powers, but there are times you just have to ask yourself, “Are we asking too much from one man?”

I’ve read rumors of late concerning Sosa. Looking at all of them, I’m not sure that I like any.

Rumor # 1 ~ Sosa to LA

Hendry might be attempting an even more difficult proposal than trading Todd Hundley for Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros. The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that the Cubs and Dodgers will discuss an exchange of right fielders Sammy Sosa and Shawn Green during the general managers meetings this week in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Rumor # 2, 3, & 4 ~ Sosa Going Everywhere
There is speculation the New York Mets could offer former Thornwood High School standout Cliff Floyd for Sosa if they cannot land free agent Manny Ramirez, the World Series MVP for the Boston Red Sox. The Colorado Rockies, according to rumors, are interested in shedding the contracts of outfielder Preston Wilson, catcher Charles Johnson and pitcher Denny Neagle and could consider dealing for Sosa. “I have not talked to the (Cubs) about Sosa, but I would definitely get in the middle of a trade like that if I could spin (Sosa) somewhere else,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd told the Denver Post over the weekend. Rumors have also surfaced that Florida could be interested in Sosa, who has a home in Miami. The North Siders would likely have to pay a large chunk of Sosa’s salary — and give up a prospect or two, or take right fielder Juan Encarnacion and his $4.45 million salary from the Marlins.

I’m not sure about how much truth there is to any or all of these rumors, but If it were up to me, the Marlins and Met’s seem the most intriguing. If the Rockies deal is the case, we get an over priced backup catcher, an OF that strikes out more than I would if I played, and an overpriced # 5 starter. If we took the Dodgers deal, which I do not think will happen, we get a RF which potential to do well, but will be disappointed in coming to Chicago. That’s not the kind of player we need.

In my times of concern, I always check with what my favorite writer has to say, and as always, Rick Morrissey did not disappoint.

It could be we’re too close to the Sammy Sosa situation to have a reasonable perspective on the guy. It’s possible we’re having trouble seeing the cork forest for the cork trees. But I doubt it. So we ask ourselves: Why would any team in its right collective mind want this guy? What can he offer even the most gullible franchise? And why do we feel the perverse need to ask these questions when all we want is for Sosa to go away?

The Cubs would rather not ponder any of it as they try to trade Sosa, the greatest home-run hitter in team history and a man who somehow became one of the biggest horse’s patoots the club ever has had (no disrespect intended, Dave Kingman).

I don’t know what is going to happen this offseason. All I know is that Morrissey’s title says it all. “Cubs urgently need sucker, er, taker for Sosa” Our season depends on it. We’ll just have to stay tuned.

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Backman loses zero games…and job

Friday, November 5th, 2004

The five day reign of Mr. Walter Backman has come to an end, though he lost not one game. It should be noted that he never signed a contract…so Arizona appears to have jumped the gun by announcing his hiring.

No matter; Arizona already announced that, when a tough lefty was pitching for the opposing team, the team would be managed by Tim Teufel.

Let’s hope for the Mets’ sake that this doesn’t begin a backlash against all New York 1980s second basemen who just got hired to manage a team.

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Important election notes

Monday, November 1st, 2004

Now that baseball season’s over, we have to entertain ourselves with less important matters. Fortunately, just as your world series hangover goes away, there’s a national election to keep yourself busy.

So here are some things to help you make your decision tomorrow:
Our Two Major Political Parties
Presidential Candidate #1
Presidential Candidate #2
Making your Decision
Who’s in charge of making sure your vote is counted?
Who are your fellow voters?
Why should you vote? Because Puff Daddy says so.

I don’t know how this happened, but my wife and I got labeled as impressionable undecided voters, but only by the Republicans. We have gotten ZERO calls by the democratic party or any of the organizations pretending not to be involved. Well, I guess Puff Daddy/P Diddy/Sean Combs called, but he didn’t tell me to vote anybody, he just threatened my very life if I didn’t vote.
Neither of the Bush Twins have called me. John Kerry hasn’t called me. Dick Cheney hasn’t called me from the bunker.

I have gotten a call from President Bush, P Diddy, and I think a couple of other politically involved, conscientious celebrities.
Carrot Top wants me to call, and Sean Connery wants me to return my videos to Hollywood Video. But I don’t feel comfortable making my decision without the input of:
–At least one cast member from Gilligan’s Island.
–The political viewpoint of Ryan Seacrest and Leeza Gibbons.
–Miss Cleo’s prediction.
–Crazy Dan Rather.
–Sammy Sosa (he’d vote for whoever’s 3rd or 4th on the ballot, I guess).
–H. Ross Perot
–Jesse “The Mind” Ventura
–Nathan of Nathan’s Hot Dogs

I can’t wait to find out who the Supreme court elects, and I’m very excited to be a part of the process. Vote on, Americans!

UPDATE: Ex-President William Jefferson Clinton, Quincy Jones, and Arnold Schwarzenegger called me today. Nothing from Leeza Gibbons yet.

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